Criminal cases involving drug possession can be quite complex and can vary wildly depending on various factors. Some drug charges are generally handled at the state level, while others may only be prosecuted in federal court. While possession of illegal substances or materials is against both state and federal laws, understanding where your arrest fits in will help you fight against these charges.
As an example, simple possession is a drug charge handled at the state level. This charge is for when a person is found carrying a small amount of an illegal substance. Conversely, a charge that would be prosecuted in federal court would be an accusation of possession with intent to distribute. This situation applies when an individual is found to be carrying a large quantity of one or more drugs.
No matter which situation applies to you, the consequences of these charges can be quite severe. Learning about Georgia’s laws regarding drug possession is important, and hiring a skilled attorney is even more so.
In the state of Georgia, if you are a first-time offender, you may be able to get the charges discharged if you have not been convicted of any drug-related crimes before. This situation will usually result in a probation period assigned by the court. If you violate the law at any point during this period, the court will subsequently pursue the initial charges against you.
Sometimes for these conditions to be met, the court may require you to check yourself into a drug treatment program. The discharge itself may be conditional on following through with that treatment. If you follow all of the rules outlined on your probation correctly, then the charges can be dismissed and will not show up on your record.
Protecting Your Future
Most drug possession charges are misdemeanors for marijuana possession. However, as Georgia counts these towards a criminal record with a drug conviction, it can affect many aspects of your life, including:
- Your ability to get scholarships.
- Admissions for schools.
- Student loan and public housing eligibility.
- Your ability to receive and maintain professional licenses.
A felony conviction will limit job and educational opportunities even further, and Georgia also has a law that creates a lifetime ban on food stamp eligibility for convicted individuals.
Your attorney will go through every detail of your case to learn the facts and investigate the arrest to acquire additional information to protect your rights. In some circumstances, it may be possible for your attorney to dismiss the entire case if any of the following situations apply.
- You were arrested unlawfully.
- The statute of limitations has expired.
- Your Fifth or Sixth Amendment rights were violated because you were not given your right to a trial in a reasonable time.
- You are being prosecuted twice for the same offense.
Ultimately, every case is different, and you may have particular circumstances that will help your attorney protect you. Reach out to our office by phone at (678) 883-7081 for a consultation to discuss your case’s specifics. Our attorneys are experts in Georgia law and will be thrilled to assist.